Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt Housing Complex, Homes, German Apartment Development, Architecture Images

Charlie Living Friedrichstadt, Berlin

10 July 2020

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments

Architects: GRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH

Location: Friedrichstadt, Berlin, Germany

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT
photos © BTTR GmbH

Charlie Living is the largest newly-built predominantly residential project in Friedrichstadt, in direct proximity to former Checkpoint Charlie.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

The open ensemble of four new buildings fills one of the last open lots of Berlin Mitte with its former strip of the Berlin Wall. The Graft design with its high public permeability of accessible existing paths through to the inner area of the complex connecting with the neighbouring E-Werk and hotel on Mauerstraße, stands in contrast with the otherwise closed block structure of the immediate vicinity.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

Against this backdrop of the Martin Gropius Building, the State Parliament Building, the “Topography of Terror” Memorial with its original pieces of the Wall, Friedrichstraße with Checkpoint Charlie and the Axel Springer Campus, the new residential ensemble marks a highly liveable dwelling in one of the most historically significant areas of Berlin.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

With a unit mix of 243 3-7 roomed apartments ranging from 40 to 300 m² in size, and 48 “serviced apartments,” the complex constitutes one of the largest, newly-built residential developments at this location since the 1987 International Building Exhibition IBA.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

The residential complex consists of three eight-storey main buildings – Block A, B, and C and a cluster of townhouses situated within the inner block, D, which are slightly inclined towards each other, modelled polygonally and freely connected to each other by means of a green internal courtyard.

This publicly accessible courtyard forms an oasis within the hustle and bustle of Berlin’s historic heart and provides pedestrians with a short-cut through its block-like structure to Mauerstraße and the middle of Friedrichstraße. All buildings convey an individual geometry and have a distinctive surface and façade concept which provides all apartments with generous loggias or balconies as transitory spaces between outside and inside.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

Building A accommodates an Apartment Hotel and lobby together with retail units on the ground floor, as well as apartments situated in the side wing, opening up to the courtyard.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

Along Zimmerstraße Building A stands out with its graphite-coloured, relief-like façade. Above the double-story plinth and distributed over five floors, street-facing studio-apartments with bay windows of varying projecting depths as extensions of the living area, allow views from Zimmerstraße all the way down to Checkpoint Charlie.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

These stepped bay windows emerge increasingly from the façade to the west to mark a deflection point into the internal courtyard. Since on the west side a future joint towards a new building is foreseen on the development plan, the main access to the inner complex was able to be repositioned “around the corner” on the western side of the site. As a result, an acoustic shielding of the courtyard areas has been achieved while retaining the greatest possible openness.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

The side wing of Building A serves to block off the long firewall of the neighbouring buildings to the east, orienting a large portion of the rental apartments westward towards the green courtyard. Conversely, many of these units benefit from the building joint which brings afternoon sun into the courtyard.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

Building B, comprised of medium-sized apartments, was built at the eastern rear connection. Here a projecting, slightly inclined and optically pleated balcony balustrade allows varying sized balconies to be realised thereby guaranteeing natural sunlight while in the darker seasons the sun reaches the depth of the apartments. Due to its distinctive corners, the otherwise stringent building achieves a sculptural effect.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

Building C, the third central structure, detaches itself conspicuously from the typological regularity due to its unexpected interwoven sculptural balcony structures. The triangular balcony areas change their orientation alternately per floor, thrusting every second floor off the façade so that the overlying balcony recedes thus creating a terraced feeling. Attached to the verticals are tree troughs, there to create a sphere of privacy. The trees appear to climb up the façade, perpetuating the green character of the inner courtyard with the outer walls.

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt by GRAFT

The free-standing building enables all apartments on the western border of the property a particularly favourable exposure to light. Depending on the time of day and the incidence of light the metal façade seems to have a silvery or golden shimmer. Building C houses the club room with leisure facilities on the ground floor and a roof terrace, both of which are at the disposal of all residents.

Hidden at the back of the courtyard area is Building D, a three-storey structure with six townhouses on offer. Each of the units is equipped with a front terrace, cellar and garden constituting an inner-city residential area providing high-quality urban dwelling.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

All buildings and individual sections serve the broader idea of public accessibility and the elimination of the strict separation of private courtyard and public space. Charlie Living proves that these qualities are not mutually exclusive and that a premium residential address in a central yet quiet location is possible with the highest openness to the urban public. Perhaps, a precedent for a sustainable and highly liveable urbanity.

Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT Charlie Living Berlin Apartments design by GRAFT

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt – Building Information

Project Type: Newly constructed residential complex with 243 rental units, retail and hotel with basement parking

Location: Zimmerstraße 92-94, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Year: 2017 – 2020

Principal: Trockland, www.trockland.com

Status: Completed

Size: 33,100 m2

Photos: BTTR GmbH

GRAFT

Charlie Living Berlin Friedrichstadt images / information from tchoban voss

Location: Zimmerstraße 92-94, 10117 Berlin, Germany

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Website: Germany